WARF: P130338US03

Thermogel for Combination Drug Delivery


Glen Kwon, Hyunah Cho

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing localized cancer treatments using water-soluble polymer gels that simultaneously release multiple anticancer drugs at a controlled rate for potent antitumor efficacy.
OVERVIEWAs cancer research progresses, it is evident that single drug formulations only provide limited success. Developing combination therapies would greatly benefit patients, especially those who must follow dosage regimens for long-term disorders.

Many currently used chemotherapeutics are poorly water soluble, which complicates the process of partnering these drugs with a suitable delivery vehicle. Combining two or three drugs is additionally challenging because of compatibility and stability issues.

New multidrug vehicles must be safer, more effective and biocompatible.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed hydrogels for delivering drug combinations to cancer patients. The gel is made of a solution of heat-sensitive, biodegradable block copolymers (PLGA-PEG-PLGA) that turn semisolid at body temperature.

The gel can contain a combination of therapeutic agents like rapamycin, paclitaxel and 17-AAG. After being administered to a patient, the gel releases the drugs at a controlled rate, and then biodegrades into nontoxic fragments.
  • Local treatment of cancers, including brain cancer, breast cancer (e.g., lymph node metastasis), pancreatic cancer, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer and esophageal cancer
  • First multidrug gel of its kind for local cancer treatment
  • Extended release of drugs
  • Solubility enhancement of poorly water-soluble drugs
  • Nontoxic
  • Safe and effective
  • Biodegradable
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Rafael Diaz at or 608-960-9847.
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The University of Wisconsin and WARF –
A Single Location to Accelerate Translational Development of New Drugs

UW–Madison has the integrative capabilities to complete many key components of the drug development cycle, from discovery through clinical trials. As one of the top research universities in the world, and one of the two best-funded universities for research in the country, UW–Madison offers state-of-the-art facilities unmatched by most public universities.

These include the Small Molecule Screening Facility at the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station, which provides consulting and laboratory services for developing formulations and studying solubility, stability and more; the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility; the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research, which provides UW–Madison with a complete translational research facility; and the innovative, interdisciplinary Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, home to the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and its public twin, WID, part of the university's graduate school. The highly qualified experts at these facilities are ready to work with you to create a library of candidates for drug development.